A Chat with the 42.195km Winners of the OSIM Sundown Marathon 2016

Now into its ninth edition this year, the 2016 edition of the OSIM Sundown Marathon took place yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, with more than 27,600 runners participating.

More than 43 per cent of these runners were foreigners from countries such as Malaysia, Philippines, China and even places as far-flung as The United Kingdom and Costa Rica.

Winning the men's race was Li Wei from China. [Photo credit to OSIM Sundown Marathon]

Winning the men’s race was Li Wei from China.
[Photo credit to OSIM Sundown Marathon]

Li Wei from China wins the 42.195km Men’s Category

Coming in first in the 42.195km Men’s category was Li Wei, 27, a Running Trainer from ShanDong, China. He completed the marathon in 2 hours 37 minutes and 37 seconds.

Said Li in Mandarin, “I am happy about today’s win. It’s also my first time participating in Sundown and I didn’t know that the weather in Singapore would be this humid. There were also a lot of turns along the route, making it difficult to tackle, but I am glad I managed to win.”

Male winners for the Full Marathon.

Male winners for the Full Marathon.

He added, “I didn’t expect to win the race. I ran my own race but there were lots of support from the other runners and volunteers and this encouraged me to keep on going.”

Sharon Tan is the winner of the 42.195km Women’s Category

Winning the 42.195km Women’s Category was Sharon Tan, 27, a Teacher, who was also pleasantly shocked by her victory. She said, “I was surprised and did not expect it at all. I was only aiming to set a new personal best. I got not only that, but managed to win the race at the same time.”

Singaporean Sharon Tan won the Women's 42.195km race.

Singaporean Sharon Tan won the Women’s 42.195km race.

Tan had completed the race is 3 hours 35 minutes and 45 seconds.

Her race strategy was to listen to her body throughout the race. She said, “I was actually looking at a sub four hours timing. But my body was feeling okay, so I decided to push a little.”

To her, Sundown Marathon is not different compared to an early morning marathon though. Said Tan, “It is about the same as a morning marathon run to me, though the challenges are different as compared to running in the daytime.”

Li feels that running at night is more cooling

Female winners for the Full Marathon.

Female winners for the Full Marathon.

But Li, a seasoned runner since his childhood days, felt that running at night is more cooling, so he prefers doing his runs then. He said “Running at night is cooler and there is more wind. But this is the first time that I have run after midnight. As this is usually the time to sleep, I slept the whole day yesterday, before the run, preparing for it.”

He added, “But still, I did not realise that Singapore was so hot. This is my first time running in such humid weather and I was soaking wet by the end of it. It was a big challenge for me to run in such hot conditions.”

A smiling Yvonne Siew, who came 2nd in the Women's Full Marathon category.

A smiling Yvonne Siew, who came 2nd in the Women’s Full Marathon category.

Final few kilometres were scenic but challenging

The most challenging part of the race for Tan, was the final few kilometres when she suffered cramps. Said Tan, “I had a cramp around the 39km mark and another one in the last 500m of the race. Fortunately I managed to shake off the 39km cramp. But the cramp in the final 500m was really bad. The cyclist, who was leading me, was really encouraging. I did not manage to get his name, but I must really say thanks to him.”

Tan receives her prize on stage.

Tan receives her prize on stage.

This final few segments of the race also coincided with the iconic scenery at the Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer which Li had really enjoyed.

Said Li, “Running at night at the Sundown Marathon is very unique – though the weather is hot and the routes were quite winding, with a few slopes, the garden-like natural beauty and nice scenery really reduced the stress and pressure on me, especially in the final stages of the race.”

He added, “To me it felt very meaningful to come here to run and at the same time, to see the local scenic sights – I now feel that I have used my two legs to conquer Singapore.”

Tips for future editions of the Sundown Marathon

Now that she has conquered the Sundown Marathon, what tips does Tan have to share with other runners, to improve themselves at next year’s edition of the Sundown Marathon?

Your top three ladies for the Sundown Marathon.

Your top three ladies for the Sundown Marathon.

She said, “I would say there is a need to incorporate speed work and strength training into your daily training, and include long runs into your regular training and you will get better.”

Click here for my race review of Sundown Marathon.

Click here to view your Sundown Marathon Photo Gallery

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